Inverell Jockey Club have not had the best run of luck in recent months, with a wetter than expected season resulting in back-to-back meetings being abandoned.
This coming Saturday (weather gods permitting) will be a welcome change with the North West club set to welcome back both racing and a crowd.
Inverell Jockey Club President Peter Tanners admitted it had been a tough run for his club, but he said a timely return to racing was reward for all the hard work undertaken by his committee.
“The Inverell Jockey Club hasn’t had a lot of luck of late, losing two meetings to the above average rainfalls,” Tanners said.
“So, to not only be able to hold a meeting but be able to have racegoers back will be a huge boost to the hard-working committee, groundsman and volunteers who keep our facilities race ready all year round.”
With strict Racing NSW protocols in place, only double-vaccinated patrons can attend the meeting and there will be no mixing of spectators and industry participants allowed, and while it would be a challenge, Tanners said his committee would work hard to create a solid ‘precedent’ for other clubs in the area to follow.
“This meeting will look a little bit different to racegoers as it is important to keep the general public and racing participants in different zones to comply with NSW Health Orders and the Racing NSW Roadmap.” Tanners said.
“The protocols make race day set up a much bigger task but I’m sure our team will do a mammoth effort and set a precedent for other clubs as we are one of the first few to have crowds back.”
It’s not only the local club excited to be back racing on Saturday, but also, the club’s growing contingent of local trainers, who have strongly supported the meeting.
“100%, we can’t wait to be racing here,” said local trainer, Todd Payne.
“It’s just been bad timing and bad luck. Both meetings we missed, we had big storms those weeks and we couldn’t help that.”
A wet forecast does have Inverell slightly worried their bad luck may come in threes, but Payne was hopeful of the meeting proceeding.
“It will be wet, there is no way around that,” Payne said.
“If the weather holds out, we will race, and it is always a fair track, and every horse will get their chance.”
Payne said the committee and local trainers were excited to show off their new and improved mounting yard too, with plenty of hard work going into upgrades during the off-season.
“It will be good for people just to see the work we have done here,” Payne said.
“We have spent a lot of time and money in fixing up the mounting yard and it will be good to see it used.”
Local and visiting trainers have supported the five-race non-TAB program, with 61 gallopers nominated to race.
Nominations can be viewed here, while full fields will be available late Thursday morning.
For those planning on attending the meeting, entry is only $5, with the gates opening at 11am.
There will be a full bar service, the APEX Inverell BBQ, bookmakers, tote and most of all, good local racing.